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History of chemical weapons use

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posted on Apr, 2 2003 @ 05:12 PM
Chemical Weapons - Introduction
Chemical weapons use the toxic properties of chemical substances rather than their explosive properties to produce physical or physiological effects on an enemy.
Although instances of what might be styled as chemical weapons date to antiquity, much of the lore of chemical weapons as viewed today has its origins in World War I. During that conflict gas (actually an aerosol or vapor) was used effectively on numerous occasions by both sides to alter the outcome of battles. A significant number of battlefield casualties were sustained. The Geneva Protocol, prohibiting use of chemical weapons in warfare, was signed in 1925. Several nations, the United States included, signed with a reservation forswearing only the first use of the weapons and reserved the right to retaliate in kind if chemical weapons were used against them (the United States did not ratify the Protocol until 1975). Chemical weapons were employed in the intervening period by Italy (in Ethiopia) and Japan (in Manchuria and China). Both nations were signatories to the Geneva Convention. Chemical weapons were never deliberately employed by the Allies or the Axis during World War II, despite the accumulation of enormous stockpiles by both sides. Instances of employment of chemical weapons in the local wars since then are arguable, although they were definitely used in the Iran-Iraq conflict of 198287.

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posted on Apr, 2 2003 @ 05:17 PM

posted on Apr, 2 2003 @ 08:24 PM
Hey UP did not mean to step on your toes

I rememeber recently that a member mentioned that Chemical weapons had been used after WWI and before the Iraq/Iran conflict. Thought this would present my point

posted on Apr, 2 2003 @ 08:29 PM
read before you think before you post: this is all "very old blended Scotch whisky".
The key point however is touched upon here and that is the distinction between the weapon and the use of that weapon.
A rifle is not illegal on the battlefield; but its use to shoot prisoners or civilians makes it an "illegal use".
This is at the heart of debates on, say, landmines, napalm or cluster bombs.

posted on Apr, 2 2003 @ 09:10 PM
Agreed but it clear that every leader that has had access to chemical weapons since WWI has treated them solely as a weapon of deterrence. Clearly a distinction is made with regards to Iraqis actions
under Saddam Hussein.

Applying Chemical weapons are no different than setting of a nuclear bomb. When used they do not kill hundreds of people but thousands and even millions.

I can understand the logic of disallowing cluster bombs, land minds and acknowledging. The premeditated kills of civilians and prisoners as an act of murder on the battle field.

But when you launch a chemical attack against a civilian population or for that matter a military force, what you are doing should be treated no differently than launching a nuclear attack. I grant you that a response against civilians as a reuslt of a military attack would be inappropriate. Furthermore if a country has the technology to applying conventional weapons in a manner akin in force to a thermonuclear bomb. It would be reasonable to conclude that as a more humane option.

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